VR Game Streaming Service LIV Raises $8.5M, Reveals Big Plans
The video is captured live without post-processing
Startup LIV was born in 2016, introduced a non-chromakey VR game streaming app in 2021, and recently formed an alliance with Tobii and Ready Player Me. Behind his team is a set of tools for authors and developers, which helped to attract an investment round of $ 8.5 million.
LIV is slowly evolving into a big product for immersive streaming, and in 2022 will introduce proprietary 3D streaming technology and an updated platform that will allow content creators to connect with their fans in augmented and virtual reality-specific ways.
The round was led by Bitkraft Ventures and was attended by Sony Innovation Fund, Amazon Alexa Fund, Credo Ventures, Samsung Next, Olive Tree Capital and several angels, including Dave Wu, partner of Maveron. Funding will be used to develop the author community and network of developer partners, as well as to expand the team of specialists in the field of engineering, design, business, marketing and community management.
LIV wants to bring augmented and virtual reality game streaming to a more convenient and adequate form for new media environments. Ordinary video services are not suitable for this, because they do not allow you to immerse yourself in the content, and broadcasting in VR glasses from the first person can even cause nausea, because there will be a discrepancy between the movements of the viewer’s body and what he sees. The startup is creating a service that, on the one hand, is built into the games themselves (for example, through Unity) so that streamers can easily launch broadcasts, and on the other hand, it will allow viewers to comfortably watch what is happening and communicate with the authors.
VR app developers are already using the LIV SDK to integrate streaming features. Since 2018, partner authors have amassed over 3.5 billion views. Today, around 13,000 monthly active creators generate nearly 30,000 hours of content and rack up tens of millions of views every month. LIV works with dozens of famous games and over 2200 developers.
The video is captured live without post-processing. Creators can capture their real bodies or transform into personalized avatars that support full body tracking, including fingers and lips, eye animations, and a suite of video, chat, alerts, and notification utilities with glasses.
Platform LIV version 3.0 will undergo a major design overhaul. The team acknowledges the bulkiness of the interface, specifying that today it loses about 50% of users during the first day, and it takes an average of three minutes to start the stream. The goal is simple: go live after putting on your glasses and downloading the app in seconds, not minutes.
Curious against the backdrop of a partnership with Ready Player Me looks like an intention to switch to their own avatar system. In its development, LIV has focused on the Quest, but wants to touch on other standalone VR headsets as well. The project is currently in beta testing on Quest.
The new LIV App of 2022 will have the ability to record voluminous content. Codenamed LIV Bytes, the team has yet to talk about this project, but has been researching and developing for several years, testing everything on Kinect. The idea is to record entire 3D scenes that can be viewed from inside and outside. The developers are not yet ready to tell more, but they made one single GIF for starters. Application for participation in testing can be left here.